Facebook Users Growing Up Fast

Inside FacebookFacebook is aging fast. The number of U.S. users over 35 has doubled in just the last 60 days, according to new data from Inside Facebook. The burgeoning crowd of older users means that the majority of Facebook members are now over age 25.

Those ages 18 to 25 still make up the biggest proportion of users, at 35%. But people ages 26-44 now account for 41% of the Facebook audience. Women over 55 remain the fastest-growing demographic in the last three months, hitting 1.5 million.

Does this mean that ads for the Clapper and denture cream will soon proliferate on Facebook? Maybe not. But "developers and marketers want to think about how to serve this group of new users," wrote Inside Facebook founder Justin Smith.

Indeed, Facebook appears to be catering more to families as all ages become drawn into the social network. Another Facebook blog -- AllFacebook -- points out that the company has created a new landing page for creating private groups specifically targeted to their family.

It also notes the particular trend of moms going on Facebook. "I can't tell you how many friends of mine have complained about their mothers registering in the past couple weeks," wrote AllFacebook's Nick O'Neill. He acknowledges that "younger individuals" may not find that so cool. With its user base extending to parents as well as children, however, brands are taking note.

"In recent months, marketers have started to explore more opportunities to engage new audiences via Facebook beyond its traditional base of teens and college students, though the site still offers a lot of value in terms of that audience," said Art Sindlinger, vice president and social activation director at Starcom USA.

Adam Kasper, senior vice president and director of digital media at Havas Digital's Media Contacts unit, emphasized that many marketers are still getting their feet wet on Facebook. "While the growth of Facebook reflects an important demographic shift and it is now an established cultural phenomenon, placing ads on Facebook is still far from a must-have for advertisers," he said.

"More interesting for many of our clients is user activity on Facebook -- looking at how messages travel generationally from one person to another and the quantitative of the value of that pass-along."

While the demographic data highlighted by Inside Facebook focuses on U.S. users, its fastest growth has been internationally, with 70% of its more than 175 million active members in other countries. To keep up with its torrid expansion, the company is seeking to raise another $100 million in debt financing to lease more servers, according to a BusinessWeek report Thursday.

3 comments about "Facebook Users Growing Up Fast".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Bruce Christensen from PartyWeDo, March 27, 2009 at 4:18 p.m.

    My wife and I are 55 and are empty nesters. We can stay connected with our children all over the country using this network. We use Facebook often to see what old friends are up to. It is a tool to bring back memories of great times and to build new contacts.
    We have even been inspired to start our own network!

  2. Max Heilbron from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, March 29, 2009 at 3:10 p.m.

    The traction Facebook has across generations may be what prevents it from becoming the next Friendster or MySpace.


  3. Tyler Willis from Involver, March 31, 2009 at 4:35 p.m.

    I think most children not in the 13-18 bracket are ok with having parental friends. I know i enjoy sharing my photos and thoughts with my parents in a simple way w/o having to call everyday or email all the time.

Next story loading loading..